General Election Series: Making Britain a great place to grow older

We want our country to be a great place to grow older
We want our country to be a great place to grow older

Age UK is today launching our campaign ahead of the General Election, asking parliamentary candidates from all parties to become ‘Age Champions’ and political parties to support our vision that by the end of the next Parliament the UK is a truly great place to grow older.

Acting on the campaign’s calls would make a difference to the lives of millions of older people up and down the country.  1.6 million older people are still living in poverty, despite Britain being the 6th richest country in the world. 1 million older people haven’t spoken to anyone for a month, resulting in loneliness and isolation which is not only miserable, but has serious consequences for a person’s health too.

There are 870,000 people in our country who do not receive the care and support they so badly need.  25,000 older people die unnecessarily each year because of the cold during winter.  44% of older people miss out on the benefits of being online, which can exclude them from vital services.  So while we know that we all have the potential to make the UK a great place to grow older, there’s a long way to go yet.

Each of these concerning statistics reflect the five key ‘pillars’ that we believe the next Government needs to act on in the coming 5 years of the next Parliament.  We are calling for the next Government to work for a Britain where everyone in later life;

  • has opportunities to enjoy life and feel well
  • feels safe, comfortable and secure at home
  • has enough money to live on
  • can participate in society and be valued for their contribution
  • has access to quality health and care services

All politics is local, as the famous saying goes.  Never is that more true than during the doorstep canvassing in villages, towns and cities ahead of a General Election.  So the main advocates for the campaign will rightly be our supporters across the country, contacting their local parliamentary candidates to ask them to become ‘Age Champions’.  Alongside this, many local Age UKs – our network of 167 independent charities – will also be holding ‘a great place to grow older’ hustings with local candidates to discuss the issues which matter most to older people, and what the candidates and their parties will do to address these.

We hope that politicians from all parties act on these requests and recognise the importance of these issues.  There is the chance in the next 5 years to truly make Britain a great place to grow older, and in doing so reduce poverty, poor health and isolation of so many people in our country.

To find out more about the campaign and to download a copy of our A great place to grow older manifesto please visit


Author: Age UK

Age UK is dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. In the UK we help more than 7 million older people each year by providing advice, combating loneliness and enabling independence. Locally, we work as part of a network of independent charities which includes Age UK, Age Cymru, Age NI and Age Scotland and over 150 local Age UK partners in England and Wales.

10 thoughts on “General Election Series: Making Britain a great place to grow older”

  1. Britain would be a great place to grow old if everyone survived to enjoy old age. But with the state pension age rises, that time will be denied to many people now in their late 50s/early 60s because they either have to work until they drop, or live precariously on JSA or sickness benefit which could be snatched away at any time. These are people who have worked from 15 years of age, including women who had no chance to save for a private pension because there was no equality of wages with men those days. Many are single women or widows, the accelerated second age rise was a step too far for these women struggling with age related complaints. Most didn’t even know about the first state pension age rise in 1995, they were not informed, so it feels to them as if 6 extra years have been added on! Yes people are living longer in some parts of the country, but not all. Let those work on in easy jobs who want to, but it’s unfair to expect everyone in hard physical or stressful jobs to work to 66, the last age rise was at too short notice, discriminating and unjust and should be reversed!

  2. Age UK is a joke,,,,,, no way is it a good place to get older !!!! All the ads about looking after the over 60’s is a joke !!!!! we cant even retire at 60 we have to go out on the cold dark frosty mornings to work,,,,,, how is that a good place to live !!!!!!

  3. “The next government” I sincerely hope that it is not a Tory lead government. They have managed to burden so many women with an extra 6 years of working before they can claim there state pension.
    Many if us despair at how we are going to cope with this burden/sentence and why ? We have paid into the system for 40 odd years we have reached our “entitlement” we have qualified for our dues already. We were born here and have contributed enough ! Why should we be forced to work longer than we expected to when we started paying into the system. We certainly didn’t get enough notice that we would have to work so much longer and if I had known this 20 years ago I would have started making alternative plans.
    Age UK please do not pretend that you care a jot about us women that these changes have caused so much distress and upset to, because clearly you do not care at all, if you did you would be outside parliment with loudspeakers protesting about the unjustness of it all or at least trying to help us. Please have a read of some of the 40.000 comments on ONE of the petitions regarding the state pensions on 38 degrees there is currently 4 petitions running on there at the moment but this one has the most signatures.

    I would say happy reading but there is nothing happy about it at all… fact most of the comments make very sad reading for the people involved.

  4. How can it be a great place to grow old when we are expected to work untill we drop. Help reduce the pension age then that would be a start to making it a better place to live.

  5. I left a comment on here two days ago, it was awaiting moderation!!! Presumably it didn’t pass. Is this because I mentioned about the petitions on 38 degrees and how they have attracted more than 40.000 signatures and how some of the comments under said petitions make for sad reading by some of the people that have signed.

    Your slogan “making Britain a great place to grow old” is quite laughable really it’s only a great place to grow old if you have money to support yourself a nice little private pension pot to fall back on if not, then tough luck, because Age UK don’t want to know

    There are adverts on TV asking “if you know someone over 60 keep an eye on them in cold weather ” so……we need keeping an eye in if we are over 60 yet it’s perfectly fine for us to be worked to death until we are 66 right.

    Totally agree with everything Ruth and Kim have said.

  6. I’m one of the thousands of women who should have been drawing my pension now but have had 6 extra years added on with no warning. My poor husband is 6 years older than me, and is in poor health suffering from cancer and other complaints, but has had to carry on working to support us both as I have no job and no hope of getting one as don’t drive and live in a rural area plus have age related complaints myself. Only a few years ago my husband and I were looking forward to our retirement dates coinciding by a few months. now if my husband is still here by the time I draw my pension he will be over 70. A time when we were expecting to be enjoying our children & grandchildren will now be blighted by worry and ill health. So no Britain is certainly not a great place to grow older anymore.

  7. Not really a good place to grow old when we are twice denied the retirement we worked for since the age of 15, despite entering into an agreement to pay our dues in return for a pension at 60. Not a good place to grow old in the fear that we will be unable to manage physically or mentally to keep working until our raised state pension age. Not a good place to grow old in the fear that if we lose our job we will have to face the jobcentre with the staff trained and expected to find any reason to sanction us and deny us benefit, not a good place to grow old in the fear of ill health and having to rely on an NHS that may leave us in the corridor on a trolley for several hours before sending us home to die. Not a good place to grow old under this government who have vowed to start taking away benefits such as heating allowance from pensioners in the next term should they be elected. What we need is an organisation to stand up for us against these bullies, an organisation to stand up for the over 50’s – does that ring any bells?

  8. cheated out of the promises we had from some other politicians years ago – now all they want to give everyone is ‘A Good Death’ on the LIverpoolCarePathway – ie an early bath to save on care costs and pensions – and that is ALL of the political parties who want that!

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